Posted in Sparks in the wild

The honeymoon is over…

It is with sadness that I report on the separation of Bibi and Poldi. I didn’t know who they were either, until I saw their story on the news and went searching for more info. Bibi and Poldi are two giant tortoises, living at an Austrian zoo – they are both 115 years old and apparently grew up together in Switzerland before becoming “an item”.

But their love has recently soured and they are no longer able to share a cage. The keepers noticed that all was not well when Bibi (Mrs Tortoise) started attacking Poldi (Mr Tortoise) – BITING OFF PART OF HIS SHELL. And then she kept attacking him until the zoo officials moved Poldi out of the marital cage.

I know that no one ever really knows what goes on between a couple (sometimes not even the two people actually in that couple), but I’m curious to know what ticked Bibi off enough to attack her hubby and bite off part of his shell. Especially since the shell must have been pretty tough to get through. Although, according to the Austrian Times, “each of the 100 kilo animals has the ability to kill the other if they wanted.” So, when you look at it that way, Poldi actually got away lightly.

According to The Daily Telegraph (source of the photo), the boss of the zoo, Helga Happ, said, “For no reason that anyone can discover, they seem to have fallen out. They just can’t stand each other”. But maybe they just need a break – after all, 115 years is quite a long time…even for a giant tortoise. And according to Wikipedia, there are giant tortoises who have lived to the ripe old age of 176, 188 and even 255 (a giant tortoise in India). So maybe it’s a mid-life crisis for Bibi and she’s on the lookout for a younger tortoise to accompany her in her final century. You go, girlfriend.

You can read the article in The Daily Telegraph here. And the Wikipedia entry here.